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Automated Authority Control Project Completes Final Phase

Press Release: OCLC [March 23, 1994]

Copyright (c) 1994 OCLC

Abstract: OCLC's automated authority control software is again working its way through the 30 million-record Online Union Catalog (OLUC), this time in an eight-week project that will correct over 2 million personal name headings.


DUBLIN, Ohio, March 23, 1994--OCLC's automated authority control software is again working its way through the 30 million-record Online Union Catalog (OLUC), this time in an eight-week project that will correct over 2 million personal name headings.

This is the third and final portion of the Automated Authority Control project, which began in May 1993. The first portion made 1.1 million corrections in corporate names in the OLUC last summer. The second portion made 1.9 million corrections in Library of Congress subject headings in the fall of 1993.

"Authority control is one of the most important aspects of cataloging," said Karen Calhoun, manager, online data quality control section, OCLC. "It ensures that all access points for a particular name or subject are consistent and that users can search online catalogs efficiently."

The software that corrects errors in the OLUC was developed in OCLC's office of research. It is "intelligent software" that can correct widely varying forms of names and subjects. For example, rather than simply comparing headings to a file of authorized headings and cross references, OCLC's personal names correction programs use algorithms that weigh factors within records to identify matching headings and link them to the correct form.

Five kinds of errors have been corrected with the automated authority control software:

  1. Style: variations in spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and diacritics
    Example: FROM Klinger, Hans Herbert TO Klinger, Hans-Herbert
  2. Typographical errors: incorrect one-character differences in words
    Example: FROM Centeral nervous system TO Central nervous system
  3. Abbreviations: selected errors corrected based on OCLC tables
    Example: FROM County govt. TO County government
  4. Obsoletes: previously authorized name and subject headings
    Example: FROM Edinburgh (Lothian) TO Edinburgh (Scotland)
  5. Variants: dissimilar forms, incorrect qualifiers, different word order
    Example: FROM Klaiber, Teresa TO Klaiber, Teresa Lynn Martin, 1949-

In addition to applying these automated authority control programs to its own online catalog, OCLC has processed the Harvard University local system database, making it more consistent and more efficient for online searching.

OCLC is a nonprofit computer library service and research organization whose computer network and services link more than 17,000 libraries in 52 countries and territories.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL: Karen Calhoun (614) 764-6113 or Nita Dean (614) 761-5002

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Publication Year:1994
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:March 23, 1994
Publisher:OCLC
Company: OCLC
Record Number:19296
Last Update:2014-05-12 08:09:22
Date Created:2014-05-12 08:07:32